Six fishermen were airlifted to hospital in Lerwick today after their boat caught fire 60 miles east of Orkney, forcing them to take to a liferaft.
The coastguard rescue helicopter was scrambled from Sumburgh after a distress radio beacon from the Banff-registered Denarius began transmitting at 3.50pm. The Bond helicopter was also scrambled and a mayday relay was broadcast to all vessels in the area.
The owner of the 22m vessel contacted the coastguard to say that his son, the skipper, had been in touch to report a fire on board.
At 4.45pm the coastguard helicopter arrived on scene and winched all six crew members from the liferaft to safety.
They were flown to the emergency landing site at Clickimin and taken to the Gilbert Bain Hospital by ambulance. The crew were described as uninjured.
Shetland coastguard watch manager David Robinson said: “The ability of the crew to activate their EPIRB (Emergency Position-Indicating Radio Beacon) in this incident was absolutely crucial as we were immediately passed information on their location, vessel name and shore contact which, in the absence of the ability to communicate directly with the vessel, meant that we were able to quickly send help to their position.
“We would like to thank the crew of the several vessels and helicopter that helped in locating the Denarius and providing on scene assistance.”